4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Pop fell away from the heart

For Xiu Xiu’s latest, Stewart found deadline “pressure more than anything was the solution” to writing lyrics.
For Xiu Xiu’s latest, Stewart found deadline “pressure more than anything was the solution” to writing lyrics.

Asked how San Diego treats his now-L.A.–based band Xiu Xiu, singer Jamie Stewart tells the Reader via email: “It has been mixed. There have been shows that were totally sold out and the people were incredibly enthusiastic and there have been shows where there were ten people and I have no idea why they came and they really did not seem to want to be there. It is always a roll of the dice for us. Nothing wrong with that, though.... We have played at Ché Café, Casbah, Soda Bar, house shows...”

Xiu Xiu, playing Soda Bar on March 25, takes oddity and randomness in stride, though. Over 12 years and 12 albums of original material, they’ve pushed discordant noise and provocation as far as any band could and still, just barely, be called pop-rock. They named themselves after a Chinese film and named their current album Angel Guts: Red Classroom after a Japanese skin flick.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Explains Stewart on the new direction for the record: “John Congleton, who mixed our record Always, which was an incredibly dense art-pop record, suggested we go the other direction with Angel Guts — spare, simple, and dark. Pop fell away from heart. It is an homage to Suicide, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nico, and Kraftwerk. In the past, we used every sound we could find and with this new one it is only a drum set, analog synth, and analog drum machine.

“Despite its simplicity,” Stewart continues, “it was quite difficult to write after having been devoted to more complicated arrangements in the past. Reorienting the approach took longer than I thought, despite it feeling so right conceptually. I was writing lyrics and recording vocals until the last week before the deadline. Pressure more than anything was the solution.”

Stewart’s fresh and bushy-tailed from a recent move to L.A. from North Carolina, saying the only thing he misses about the South is “a bar called ‘Whiskey.’” On Los Angeles 2014, he opines: “I grew up here but had not lived here since I was 20. I was surprised by how much it improved in fundamental ways. Less violence, better air quality, better food, less traffic. It is at times confusing in an amusing way to be some place that is at once very familiar but also quite evolved.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

African Composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Don't Sleep on Samuel Coleridge-Tayor
For Xiu Xiu’s latest, Stewart found deadline “pressure more than anything was the solution” to writing lyrics.
For Xiu Xiu’s latest, Stewart found deadline “pressure more than anything was the solution” to writing lyrics.

Asked how San Diego treats his now-L.A.–based band Xiu Xiu, singer Jamie Stewart tells the Reader via email: “It has been mixed. There have been shows that were totally sold out and the people were incredibly enthusiastic and there have been shows where there were ten people and I have no idea why they came and they really did not seem to want to be there. It is always a roll of the dice for us. Nothing wrong with that, though.... We have played at Ché Café, Casbah, Soda Bar, house shows...”

Xiu Xiu, playing Soda Bar on March 25, takes oddity and randomness in stride, though. Over 12 years and 12 albums of original material, they’ve pushed discordant noise and provocation as far as any band could and still, just barely, be called pop-rock. They named themselves after a Chinese film and named their current album Angel Guts: Red Classroom after a Japanese skin flick.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Explains Stewart on the new direction for the record: “John Congleton, who mixed our record Always, which was an incredibly dense art-pop record, suggested we go the other direction with Angel Guts — spare, simple, and dark. Pop fell away from heart. It is an homage to Suicide, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nico, and Kraftwerk. In the past, we used every sound we could find and with this new one it is only a drum set, analog synth, and analog drum machine.

“Despite its simplicity,” Stewart continues, “it was quite difficult to write after having been devoted to more complicated arrangements in the past. Reorienting the approach took longer than I thought, despite it feeling so right conceptually. I was writing lyrics and recording vocals until the last week before the deadline. Pressure more than anything was the solution.”

Stewart’s fresh and bushy-tailed from a recent move to L.A. from North Carolina, saying the only thing he misses about the South is “a bar called ‘Whiskey.’” On Los Angeles 2014, he opines: “I grew up here but had not lived here since I was 20. I was surprised by how much it improved in fundamental ways. Less violence, better air quality, better food, less traffic. It is at times confusing in an amusing way to be some place that is at once very familiar but also quite evolved.”

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Nirwana Indian Gastrobar showcases tacos, sliders, and pizza

Mira Mesa gastropub consolidates around chicken curries, vegetarian options, and fusion
Next Article

The very early days of computers in San Diego

Editor's picks of stories Dave Zielinski wrote for the Reader
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close